Tony O’Reilly jnr: eager oilman who quit school at 15 to work as a gardener
Interview: Businessman believes the hunt for Irish oil is finally going to gush more than hype and start pumping 'black gold'
Tony O’Reilly jnr in his Providence Resources office in Dublin. “I’m proud that we’re a little Irish company punching above its weight. We physically operated last year the deepest well that’s ever been drilled in the north Atlantic.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Broadly speaking, there are two different types of oil hunters. There’s the science ones, usually geologists or engineers. Then there’s the money guys, like Tony O’Reilly jnr, chief executive of Providence Resources. He has an economics degree and a true blue-blooded family pedigree in business.
The science ones talk all day about rock formations and oil-bearing sands. Geeky stuff. The money ones prefer discussing the demand for crude or the price of rigs. The Geeks need the Money, and vice versa. They’re symbiotic.